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December 26, 2019

50 YEARS AGO • DECEMBER 25, 1969


A total of 57 individuals, firms and organizations contributed money, toys, food or other items to the Sanders County Sheriff’s Christmas project to make Christmas brighter for needy families and children, Sheriff Dick Cole reported Tuesday.

Individuals contributing to the project included Mrs. Bud Iff, George Austin, Ron Calvert, Ted Mellinger, Dean Margelin, John G. Miller, Floyd Bastible, Duke Sallee, Evelyn Pardia, Lyle McGuigan, Mrs. Glenn H. Larson, C.E. Whalen, Mr. and Mrs. K.A. Eggensperger, Mrs. R.J. Wilkinson, Leonard Lovhaug, Mrs. Winnifred Berrisford, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Snider, John Hagerman, Mrs. Mae Tennant, Mrs. Elsie Baxter, Mr. and Mrs. Earl Oliver, Mrs. Mary Miller, Mrs. Helen Estelle, Mrs. Frances McIntosh, Miss June Thayer, Commissioner and Mrs. Jesse W. Lee, Mrs. Lila Ross, Gary Gunderson, Mrs. Ernest Huffman, George West, James Smith, Felix Carter, Dale Reller and Mrs. Edna Mooney.

Firms contributing included Gambles Store at Plains, Lee’s Cash Store (now D & D Liquor and Linda’s Gifts), Thompson Falls Gambles Store (now True Value), Duffel’s Sporting Goods (which burned in the early 70s), Heater and Heater (now a parking lot on the corner of Fulton and Main), Falls Building and Electric, Motor Parts Co. (now Simple Simon’s), Country Store at Belknap, Jackson’s Service (now Thompson Falls Family Pharmacy), Stan’s Husky Service, Ford’s Union 76 Service (now Genki Café), Westland Chevrolet (now Artistic Image), Tourist Hotel and Bar (now a private residence), and the Pastime Club (now HighLead Saloon).

Distribution of the toys and food baskets was made Wednesday in time for Christmas by deputies.

40 YEARS AGO • DECEMBER 27, 1979


Sheriff’s deputies took off their gun belts and donned Santa Claus suits Sunday – at least figuratively – as they distributed food baskets, toys and gifts to about 20 needy families throughout Sanders County.

Sheriff Harvey Shultz said all of his deputies participated in the distribution of the gifts to Heron, Noxon, Thompson Falls, Plains, Dixon, Hot Springs and Trout Creek. Making the deliveries were Deputies Frank Fillippi, Noxon; Jim Doxtater, Plains; Dale Balison and Ronnie Clousen, Hot Springs; Bill Woffington and Acting Undersheriff Glenn Hawkins, Thompson Falls.

The gift boxes included food for a complete Christmas dinner. Also included were toys and gifts for each member of the family. Children received lots of toys, said Sheriff Shultz.

Some of the toys were refurbished by “Harvey’s Boarders” and many used toys donated late this year will be refinished for distribution next Christmas, the sheriff said.

Shultz has been involved in the traditional program conducted for the past three decades by the sheriff’s office starting with former Sheriff Wally Britton.

Shultz expressed his appreciation for the financial support provided for the program by donors. These included gifts of $221 from the Christmas Bazaar arranged by Ginny Dyer, $100 gifts from the Thompson Falls Lions Club, American Legion, and $50 gifts from the Mountain Loggers CB Club, Thompson Falls woman’s Club, $44 from Danny Moore’s Hard Time Dance and $84 from Hot Springs merchants. Other cash donations were also received.

“Without the wholehearted support from many organizations and individuals in the county we would not be able to carry on this program to make Christmas brighter and merrier for needy families. We certainly appreciate the help,” commented Sheriff Shultz.

Wally Britton started the Sheriff’s Christmas Project in the early 1950s. He served three terms as Sanders County Sheriff, 1951 to 1960.


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